Is there such a thing as good selfishness or bad selfishness?
That is something I struggle with a lot. Many of the conflicts at home are about me making choices for myself. Unfortunately, I sometimes exaggerate and then it becomes self-centred behaviour. Right in the middle of those moments I feel that it I am spending time doing what I want, because it is something I really need.
But because I have no balance in that, it becomes self-centered behavior and not good-selfish. Somehow I suddenly forget that I live with other people and that I have a responsibility towards them. Finding that balance is sometimes a challenge for me. I’m either 100% about my family’s and friends’ needs or 100% about my own.
How can I be selfish in a good and healthy way? When does selfishness turn into something bad?
How it works for my client
Last week the topic of selfishness came up with a client. This client finds it easier and more important to honor commitments when it comes to other people. Specifically when he can be of importance for others / the community. Whenever the commitment involves others, he will fulfil it 100%. Whenever it’s a commitment to himself it’s more difficult. The excuses for not doing it are easier to find, are more obvious to him. Because yes, others depend on me. I can tend to myself later.
Sure, it’s okay to say you put others first, but how do you maintain your integrity and do what you say you would do TO YOURSELF?
Luckily, what my client is really good at is keeping the deal with himself.
I find myself not so good at that. I am a champion “postponer” of my commitments to myself and postponement leads to more postponement and then eventually it doesn’t happen anymore. As a result, I end up in a negative spiral and I give up or I forget. And I let myself be carried away by whatever comes up that day. That means I am not creating my life. I am in reaction to whatever comes up. Creating my life, would mean I do what I say I would do, NO MATTER who I say it to.
Well, there are tools to help me become better at that. I’m trying them all it out. Planning, writing things down, trying different ways of setting goals. Also, prioritising, keeping integrity high, working with the 1-3-5 method, etc. It’s all trial and error when it comes to de-postponing. 😉
Whenever I haven’t taken care of myself properly / consciously for a long time, I notice that all of a sudden I stop thinking of other people all together (in particular my family / husband). I shift and focus only on me, until my husband holds up the mirror and shows me how my behavior is affecting our day to day. Honest to say this mirroring has been a while. I recognise the signs faster these days. And then I know it’s time to take more small moments for myself. Selfish or not. No label of right or wrong. I go upstairs earlier in the evening to do my meditation longer than usual. Or I take a longer shower and spend more time in the bathroom without rushing. And doing groceries I’ll more often take a detour to a coffee shop for a cup of coffee with myself.
The more often I take those little moments, the less it escalates into a big self-centered moment and minor marital crisis. I choose not to see selfishness as something bad when it is all well-dosed. In my opinion, extremes are never good. Balance is key.
Selfish balance act
So how about that selfishness-balance? When is it good to be selfish and when is it not? And how is it that the word in itself has such a negative charge? Because it almost feels like a cuss word. While sometimes it is very important to be selfish. To make choices for yourself from within yourself. Because it’s your life.
Despite the fact that you are part of a family, of a community you sometimes have to dare to choose for yourself, because that is good for you. Sometimes you have to choose NOT based on opinions of others.
So will I only choose me from now on? No, I absolutely don’t want that. I am all about sharing, caring and togetherness. Those things don’t mean that I don’t find myself important. That there must also be time for me. Only then can I maintain balance. And it is a true bonus if I manage to choose meaningful activities during me-time, activities that will make the boat go faster. Don’t know what I mean? Read my boats blog post
So, I have here another great topic to work on this week. To establish selfishness-balance using my power to act and my integrity. To be the creator of my life.
The question I ask myself this week will be:
What becomes possible when me-time and them-time is balanced?
The stand I take is:
I choose from within myself for myself.
This does not mean that I do not take others into account and I don’t care for them.
Curious how you can embed good selfishness in your life? Book your intake here
Everything is a choice.